Wednesday, August 31, 2011

TheBalm Hot Ticket Nail Polish Set

I picked up this TheBalm Hot Ticket nail polish set at TJ Maxx last week not necessarily because I like it, but because I'm intrigued by it. My buddy Tammie showed me a picture of these and it was a shock- I didn't even know TheBalm made nail polish, and yet there they were. There were two different sets- this one, and one with all boring pinks, reds and berries. Neither seem to be named, but the colors that belong in the set are printed on the back of the package.

Almost-Black Purple. Yep. Almost-black purple. Doesn't need much more of a description than that!

Baby Pink. Again... it's baby pink. Opaque baby pink creme.

Mudslide. This one is a brown-grey frost. Very dirty and sludgy looking, but for a frost it's not bad. I kinda like it.

Taupe. More frost. This is a mauve-taupe frost with some tiny little broken flakes of glitter scattered throughout. Like Mudslide, not bad for a frost.

Toffee. Even more frost! Yay. This one's frosty dirty champagne. Maybe light taupe. Ehhhhh....

The formula on these was decent, but nothing to write home about. They applied fairly easily but were on the thick/goopy side. All needed three coats.

The colors aren't particularly good and the price for the set was pretty steep ($20 at TJ Maxx). I feel like it wasn't really worth the $20, but I had to see them for myself.

I'm so confused by these. Like I said, I didn't know that TheBalm made nail polish. I've never seen it or heard of it before. I still can't find any information on it and it's not listed on their website. It seems like the first time most people I've talked to had heard of these was when they were spotted at TJ Maxx and Marshalls this month.

So... are these legit? Anyone know anything about these? How long has TheBalm been making nail polish without me knowing?

Nubar Gold Leaf

Nubar Gold Leaf doesn't shift colors as much as some of the other Nubar duochromes, but I actually dig the more subtle look of this. It reminds me of fall, the way the leaves gradually change colors before falling to the ground.

Nubar Gold Leaf. The main colors I see in this are pure gold, bronze, brown and maroon/burgundy. The base is a shimmery brown with the gold shimmer on top. At certain angles I see more gold, at others I see a reddish-maroon type color and almost no gold.

Doesn't it look like fall? Gorgeous.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

OPI Miss Universe Collection Summer 2011

Another impressive mini collection from OPI this year. I loved Nice Stems, I really loved Glam Slam! USA, and I have to say I'm rather fond of this one, too. Almost makes me forget about the dreary fall collection colors this year.

Anyway, this one is supposed to coincide with next month's Miss Universe competition, but I'll keep my mouth shut on that topic.

OPI Congeniality Is My Middle Name. These berry type shades are so hard to photograph properly. I don't think I captured any of the gorgeous micro-glass fleck duochrome sparkle in this. It's a little too berry-colored for me color-wise, but the finish is beautiful. It reminds me of The One That Got Away from the Katy Perry collection, but it lacks the silvery microglitter. Berry-purple/magenta jelly base with awesome sparkles.

OPI Crown Me Already! This is a silver glitter, but not just a plain silver glitter. It's a small silver glitter base with some gigantic silver hexagon-shaped glitter. The giant hex glitter gives this a super awesome treasure chest effect. You know... when you watch those movies where they open a treasure chest and it's just piled to the top with diamonds and coins and jewelry? That's what this looks like to me. I love this look. Plus, it's very opaque/dense and extremely shiny so it's pretty close to perfect. It could be a little smoother, but I don't mind doing an extra coat of topcoat.

OPI Crown Me Already! over Swimsuit... Nailed It!. In my opinion, this is too opaque for layering. This is one very thin coat and it almost entirely covers the base color. Might look better over black, but I really prefer it all by itself.

OPI It's MY Year. This is a red-grape purple jelly base with large particle gold foil shimmer. It's very, very similar to colors like Zoya Faye and OPI Rally Pretty Pink. I haven't compared them side-by-side to see how close the base colors are, but the finish is identical.

OPI Swimsuit... Nailed It!. This is a rich blue foil. It's very blue and not silvery looking at all. Awesome color, looks really close to the Nicole shade A New Kind Of Blue from last summer.

The formula on these was pretty good. It was thinner than I liked, but the only one that gave me any trouble was Congeniality Is My Middle Name. That one was too runny. The others were manageable. I did three coats of all the colors but only Congeniality It's MY Year needed the third. Great dry time.

I'm loving these glitter-and-glass fleck-heavy mini collections. A few of these look like they might be re-releases of or at least similar colors to previous OPI and Nicole shades, but other than that, I have no complaints about the color selection. The formula could have been a little thicker, but now I'm just splitting hairs. Overall, this is a great little set, especially if you don't already have Zoya Faye/OPI Rally Pretty and Nicole A New Kind Of Blue. My favorite is the silver glitter!

(This was sent to me for review.)

Sally Hansen Nail Prisms Cinnabar

All this Nubar duochrome swatching has made me really want to go through all my duochromes and swatch them. Or at least wear them. Every time I put a duochrome polish on my nails, I am mesmerized by it. Ooh, ahh, color changey!

Lately I've been giving Nubar duochromes a lot of praise, but let's not forget who had an entire line of amazing duochromes that you could get at any drugstore for just under $7 a bottle. That's right, I'm talking about Sally Hansen.

Sally Hansen Nail Prisms #26 Cinnabar. I'm pretty sure there's more than one version of this one floating around out there. This one only says Cinnabar on the label, but I swear I've seen one called Cinnabar Opal as well. There's also one called Golden Cinnabar, but that's a different polish. This is actually one of my least favorite of the Nail Prisms simply because it isn't as duochrome as the others. It's a sheer orangey-coral that shifts to pink, yellow and kind of an orange-peach shade. This one requires 3+ coats and I'm pretty sure this swatch was four.

It's a lot prettier in person. Very glowy. There's a lot of depth to this color, it just lacks the crazy strong color shift that you see in something like Turquoise Opal or Amber Ruby.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Nubar Indigo Illusion

If I had to pick my top three Nubar duochromes, it would be this (Indigo Illusion), Peacock Feathers and Purple Beach. Those three are like... The Trifecta of Awesome. I mean, just look at this:

Nubar Indigo Illusion. You know, for as much as I rave about Peacock Feathers, I think Indigo Illusion might be even cooler. I don't wear it as much as Peacock Feathers just because I prefer darker/vampier colors most of the time, but this is just so... so.... spellbinding. It goes from a light dusty blue (not exactly indigo, but hey, whatever) with red/pink shimmer, to purple, to green, to yellow-gold... Sometimes all at the same time. If you're a duochrome lover at all, you simply MUST see this one with your own eyes. Amazing.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Kat Von D Painted Love Lipstick in Adora

I don't usually buy lipstick (I'm more of a gloss girl), but every now and then a color comes along that I just have to have. This Kat Von D Painted Love Lipstick in Adora caught my eye around Valentine's Day, but it was out of stock for months. When Sephora finally restocked, I grabbed one. Two actually, one for me and one for a friend.

Beautiful packaging. A matte rubberized black cap with a rose design, the Kat Von D logo and a clear base that shows the color of the product. But there's something not quite right about this tube... Take a closer look. See anything weird?

It's BROKEN! It arrived like this. Ruined before I could even use it. In fact, BOTH the Adora lipsticks I ordered arrived broken. Sadness :(

Though, the broken tube is really interesting. See the clear part that's broken off? It's actually full of a melty, liquidy, gloss-textured product of some sort. It smells and feels like melted lipstick or lip gloss, but it's not the exact same color or the same texture/scent as the actual lipstick. What is this? It's kinda cool.

I figured before I returned the broken lipsticks, I may as well swatch it... They're going to just throw it out anyway, right?

Flash / No Flash

Flash / No Flash

It's a nice bold warm red, but not what I expected. I thought it would be more sparkly and foily, but it's not that metallic or sparkly looking on my lips. It applied a little patchy, too.

Obviously, I returned the two I got because they were broken, but I didn't repurchase. One, because I didn't want to have to return another broken one since these are apparently fragile, and two, because the color wasn't as crazy as I thought it would be. Oh well. At least I have my Hourglass Siren lipgloss, which is the best, craziest metallic red out there.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Deborah Lippmann Original Happy Birthday versus New Happy Birthday

After a few of you pointed out that the Deborah Lippmann Happy Birthday (and glitter base in Candy Shop and Forget You) in the Get This Party Started set seemed like it lacked the square glitter of the original Happy Birthday, I had to take a closer look.

You're absolutely right. They're different, and it's more than just the lack of pretty square glitter. I did a quick side-by-side comparison of the original Happy Birthday and the new one:

Left to right:
Two coats of original release Happy Birthday
Two coats of Happy Birthday from the Get This Party Started set
One coat of original Happy Birthday over black
One coat of new Happy Birthday over black

For reference:
New Happy Birthday, two coats.

Original Happy Birthday, one coat over black, mattified. Apparently I have never taken a picture of the original happy birthday by itself. On the upside, the matte finish really makes it easy to see all the different types of particles.

You can easily tell the two versions apart because the old bottle has black lettering and the new bottle has white lettering. Several people have mentioned to me that they have the old version in the white lettered bottle, so unfortunately it's not as easy as I thought to tell which you're getting.

These are the differences that I can tell:

  • New version has no square glitter.
  • New version has less orange and and yellow glitter, giving the overall appearance of the polish a more silver and pink look than the original.
  • New version is more opaque and spreads more evenly.
  • Old version is more colorful and has more variety in the glitter shapes, colors and sizes.
  • New version feels more like rainbow sprinkles to me, old version seems more circus/beachball/clown colored to me.
I'm torn about this. I like both versions for different reasons. I adore the square glitter in the original, but I'm also very fond of the less orangey/yellowy and more pink/silver look of the new one. If the new one had the square glitter and the same mix of colors, it would be perfect.


Nubar Stardust

This isn't really the color I think of when I hear the word Stardust, but nonetheless, it's a great color. I feel like I've seen it before, though- maybe an old OPI color was like this? Pluto Plum? I can't put my finger on why this looks so familiar!

Nubar Stardust. All the colors in this one show up really well in the photos, so I will spare you the lengthy text description. One thing that's interesting about this polish is that it has an unusually strong yellow duochrome, something I don't see in many other multichrome polishes. It's quite dramatic looking. One minute it's completely pink, the next it's entirely yellow!